in a nutshell
A smart American-style steakhouse in the art-deco-style 45 Park Lane hotel. Renowned Austrian chef Wolfgang Puck is the culinary force behind CUT, along with several restaurants in the USA. The expense account-friendly restaurant specialises in high quality British, Australian, American and Japanese steak.
Before you order, bear in mind that at dinner you’ll be treated to snacks ‘to welcome you to CUT’ – wagyu sliders, warm gougeres and mini spicy tuna tartare cones. The bread basket includes pretzel rolls that the waiter accurately described as ‘dangerous’. This is not the place to visit if you’re staunchly vegetarian, as part of the drama and experience is the waiter presenting a selection of raw steak to each table to allow you to assess the size, colour and fat marbling of each cut. Interestingly, the display includes American, Australian and Japanese cuts but not British, as it assumed locals will already know what homegrown meat looks like. Steaks range from 28-day aged Britsh sirloin (£32) to a whopping £140 Japanese wagyu rib eye.
CUT’s signature salad is butterhead lettuce with stilton and a champagne herb vinaigrette – as beautiful as it is delicious, it’s the perfect light start. Scottish scallops are given an Asian twist, served raw, thinly sliced with a wasabi-koshu (sake) ponzu and scattered with edible flowers. Both went incredibly well with Wolfgang Puck’s own label Californian Chardonnay. We tried the leanest USA steak, a 6 oz petit cut fillet mignon which cut like butter with a well-seasoned crust and Béarnaise sauce – five (yes FIVE!) mustards are also served. Sashimi quality tuna steak was also a highlight, and an imaginative side of roasted corn, instead of fries, meant room for dessert. Caramelia chocolate and coconut bar came with a stracciatella sorbet.
What we’ll go back for
CUT is all about steak but there are punchy alternatives such as Indian-spiced wagyu short ribs with curried corn purée and grilled jumbo prawns spiked with chilli, soy, garlic and coriander. The baked Alaska is also a work of art.
What’s the room like
It’s a long functional, wood-panelled room off the hotel lobby and while comfortable for diners, we noticed the waiters were experienced in squeezing through tight spaces between tables. While prices make it very much a special occasion destination, it’s not the place for a quiet intimate dinner as the room is buzzy and the menu requires a little explanation and the style of service meant our conversation was interrupted at times, albeit with genuine interest to ensure we had everything we needed. Service is American with a French accent – our Parisian waiter was knowlegeable, efficient and friendly in equal measure.
CUT at 45 Park Lane – Dorchester Collection
Written June 2015
meet the chef: Wolfgang Puck
Describe your restaurant and the type of food you cook Imaginative and simple.
The best thing on my menu is the Kobe steak and chocolate soufflé.
In my fridge there’s always…Krug champagne, stilton, milk, berries, and bread.
My favourite 15-minute supper: I cook breakfast in 15 minutes like a great omelette, a frittata or French toast. If I have to do a quick dinner before going to a movie, I might make a panini with ciabatta bread, some Humboldt Fog goat cheese, jamon Ibérico, and arugula. And I always have some gelato in my freezer to finish the meal.
A food/restaurant trend I see being the next big thing is…if I knew the next big thing I wouldn’t tell you! But seriously, a great steak grilled over charcoal with French fries and a little béarnaise on the side to dip them into will always be in fashion.
I know I shouldn’t admit it but my guilty pleasure food is chocolate. Everybody knows, and I admitted it a long time ago, that I have a sweet tooth.
A fellow chef I admire is Heston Blumenthal becausehe created The Fat Duck – it’s very, very imaginative, yet the food is delicious.
Never trust a chef who says “it’s good enough.”
I love eating out at China Tang becausethey have great dumplings, a fabulous Peking duck and a great list of champagne.
If you gave me a $10, I‘d spend it on coffee macaroons from Ladurée or Pierre Hermé. I’d sit on a bench in Hyde Park and enjoy them while watching my kids play football.
Photographs: Amanda Marsalis
You might also like
Shackfuyu | London restaurant review
Chai Wu at Harrods London, restaurant review
Bao, London: restaurant review | Gizzi Erskine
Kouzu, London: quick restaurant review
HKK London: restaurant review